Unformatted text preview: e that
a brainstorming session is properly conducted.
q Group size should be about five to seven people.
If there are too few people, not enough
suggestions are generated. If too many people
participate, the session becomes uncontrolled and
uncontrollable. q No criticism is allowed. All suggestions should be
welcome, and it is particularly important not to
use derisive laughter or disapproving non-verbal
behaviour. q Freewheeling is encouraged. The more outlandish
(even impractical, off-the-wall) the idea, the better.
It is always easier to moderate an idea than to
dream it up. q Quantity and variety are very important. The more
ideas put forth, the more likely is a breakthrough
idea. The aim is to generate a long list of ideas. q Combinations and improvements are encouraged.
Building on the i deas of others, i ncluding
combining them, is very productive. “Hitchhiking”
and “piggy-backing” are essential parts of cooperation in brainstorming. q Notes must be taken during the sessions, either
manually or with an electronic recording device.
One person serves as “recording secretary”. q The alternatives generated during the first part of
the session should later be edited for duplication
and categorizations. At some point the best ideas
can be set aside for possible implementation. q The session should not be over-structured by
following any of the preceding seven rules too
rigidly. Brainstorming is a spontaneous small-group
process and is meant to be fun. Claimed Advantages
Among the claimed advantages of brainstorming are
the following (Napier and Gershenfeld 1985):
Business Strategy Review 1. Reduces dependence on a single authority figure.
2. Encourages open sharing of ideas.
3. Stimulates participation among group members.
4. Provides individual safety in a competitive group.
5. Maximises output for a short period of time.
6. Ensures a non-evaluative climate.
7. Tends to be enjoyable and stimulating.
“Brainstorming is a popular method of encouraging
creative thinking. Its main advantage is deferred
judgement, by which all ideas – even unusual and
impractical ones – are encouraged without criticism
or evaluation. Ideas are recorded as fast as they can
be suggested; then they are evaluated for usefulness
at a later time. The purpose of deferred judgment is
to encourage people to propose bold, unique ideas
without worrying about what others think of them;
this approach typically produces more ideas than
the conventional approach of thinking and judging
concurrently. Brainstorming sessions last from ten
minutes to one hour and require no preparation
other than general knowledge of the subject. Other
advantages of brainstorming are enthusiasm,
broader participation, greater task orientation,
building upon ideas exchanged, and the feeling that
the final product is a team solution.” ( Davis &
Newstrom 1987, p221)
Empirical Research on Brainstorming
Taylor et al (1958) were the first to reject the claim
that brainstorming wa...
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